Moms can fix just about anything. It's magic, I swear. I don't know where they find this magic power, or how they do it, but they can mend just about every hurt in our life. From a young age, we've been brought up with the notion that if we run to them with our problem, they can fix it. From boo-boos and band-aids, to broken hearts and broken dreams, moms have mended our hurts, our whole lives long. And through it, they've taught us about always having hope and always trying.
So, I have a story to share. Surprised? Hahaha...
About a month ago, a neighbor called us at the shop with a request. Their childhood teddy bear was in pieces, could we repair it? My mom graciously said sure, sight unseen. Well she wasn't there the day they brought in this little treasure.
They came in and explained it was her baby toy, and was 70 years old. She wanted to have it back together so her grandkids could see it and enjoy it. It was lambswool, soft and wooly and truly unique.
It was in pieces. One arm was dislocated, the other arm was simply missing. The face was flapping and the head, well ... to put it gently...was "hinged" . I was afraid the pelt it was made out of was dry-rotted and would start disintegrating if one touched it. I was scared to death to even touch it. This is the stuff nightmares are made of... headless teddies, dragging one arm along the cold bedroom floor, trying to smother you in your sleep. I left it in the bag, and managing a bleak smile, I told them my mom would be in touch.
"That darn mom of mine", I thought, when they left. "She's one to commit to something even when she hasn't seen it beforehand. She'll promise the world. And this little project, why, it will become mine, you see, and I'll be left using my creative juices and magic powers to work a healing miracle of Jesus on this ancient relic". I really didn't think there was hope for it. I was afraid of doing more damage to it than help, and I felt like maybe the memories of 70 years should stay with little teddy rather than perform life-threatening surgery. It's like when the doctor says, "Why dear, you are 95. This surgery could make you live another 10 years or kill you". What choice do you make?
I explained all this to my mom when she came in and I showed her the teddy. We both flinched a little as it's head flopped back, but she cheerfully said she would fix it.
A week later, they brought in the other arm in a little ziploc baggie and now we were starting to look like the laboratory of Frankenstein. Upon examining, it looked like the stitches were a cotton thread that had frayed and broken, and it could be fixed up with some gentle sewing. And maybe a little of the cotton batting would have to be removed for things to fit together once again. Minor reconstructive facial surgery, but what the heck?
She shared it with our little stitch group that meets on Fridays and we were split about 50/50. Half were on my team, believing we should preserve the integrity left and not face surgery in it's advanced geriatric state. The other were with mom, believing anything is possible, and while we're at, why not make it more fabulous and knit it a little sweater!
Judging by the picture, you can see who won.
I will admit, I was amazed. One, to see it in one piece. Two, to see the hope that my mom displayed for such a small little thing. Three, to see how people jumped in with caring hearts and willing hands to touch someone's life.
This teddy meant so much more than just a child's toy. It was a lifetime of memories, but most importantly, an example of how moms never give up and always hope, always persevere, always trust the best can come out of every situation. You see, a teddy bear needing doctoring was just like a lifetime of my mom doctoring our hurts. Her whole life has been giving her the skills to be a mender, a comforter, a fixer of broken things.
Why did I think a teddy bear would be too much for her to fix? I guess I underestimated those mom super-powers. They are still alive and well, even though her kids are well into adulthood. We'll never lose the need for the mom-fixer-upper in our lives.
Love you Mom,